Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Season 1 Episode 18

Unchained Heart

Aired Monday 5:00 PM May 08, 1995 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
66 votes

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Episode Summary

Unchained Heart

Hercules and Xena thought Darphus had been killed in the battle over Parthis. But Ares resurrected Darphus, who headed off to cause more mayhem with his army. Darphus fed his victims to Graegus, Ares' man-eating Dog, and the creature grew more powerful with every meal. Working together, Hercules and Xena outwitted the evil Darphus and destroyed Graegus. They also fell in love. Although the passion they felt for each other was strong, Xenafelt compelled to make amends her past wrongdoings on her own. She thanked Hercules for unchaining her heart and departed.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Ares revive darfus to take his revenge from xena with the term to kill hercules.Hercules,xena,iolaus and salamoneus join to stop him

    The last epispode of the season was great!!!!All the characters you loved at one episode.Also the first time that an episode continues.Is strange how hercules finally made love with xena,i think that Hercules wouldnt did this so fast,i dont know if sorbo was alright with it,they could do this at a later episode.It doesnt seems that iolaus afraid only about xena,i think he was jealous too and he tried hard to keep his dignity,if xena gave him a chance,he couldnt resist.Also iolaus and salmoneus meet for the first time,the old friend of herc meets the new,love it.Unfortunetly Lucy's acting wasn't that good.The episode is one of the best of the season,together with all the xena trilogy.the whistling of salmoneus had stucked into my head like the song from the previous episode(xena coming to your town),haha.Finally,Gregus wasnt well edited(i have this monster on a game)but it didnt work bad.Now we all want to see the continue of xena as well as herculesmoreless
  • Hercules and Xena team up to bring down Xena's old bud Darphus his ally, the Dog of War.

    The final episode of the first season and travel point into the Xena half of the Universe is "Unchained Heart". Picking up almost directly after the previous episode, Hercules, Xena, and Salmoneous are traveling together when they discover Darphus is still alive. There's no doubt what must be done then, they must slay the guy again. Of course they discover this isn't going to be an easy task with Ares on Darphus' side. Not that our heroes (Hercules and Xena that is, Salmoneous is just there to write the story down) see that as a reason to run. Soon enough though the trio becomes a quartet as Iolaus comes upon them. Of course, he's still smarting from Xena burning him and has a hard time coming around to her as an ally, let alone dealing with the burgeoning romance of his best friend and his ex-well-sort-of-girlfriend. Who, let's face it, wanted to set them up to kill each other. It takes a mini-disaster to unite Iolaus and Xena as team members, but it happens. And he silently accepts the attraction between Hercules and Xena.

    So since I'm there, let's talk about the romance. I never liked it, not one bit. Hercules and Xena...eww. Even still, I can see why Iolaus didn't begrudge Hercules and Xena as a pair. This is the first woman (besides Atalanta) that even turns Hercules' eye significantly after his wife's death. And probably the first woman he's made love to since then. Story wise, that makes what happens with them pretty powerful. BUT... eww. That couple just doesn't work for me... and this is from the gal who LIKED Hercules and Deianeira 1 (Renee O'Conner) in "Lost Kingdom" as a pair. So it isn't a Xena/Gabrielle hang up. They just squick me for reasons I can't explain. But I can separate myself from that and say... it's good story they fell in love (and thank the gods, fell out of love, eventually mostly just being good friends). Xena had used Iolaus' emotions against him because at the time she had closed off her heart to really loving someone (and we see this more in Xena flashbacks that will later come in the series, especially with Borias who loved her but never really fully got that love in return). She was able to leave the "dark side" because her heart opened up again. I almost feel like what Lao Ma started (again something we find out later), Hercules was destined to finished. But he was only able to because of the baby incident and episode ago (and it takes a whole year of Xena to find out why that baby might have been a significant turning point). And who knows, maybe even seeing the deep love and friendship between Herc and Iolaus in "Warrior Princess" is also what touched Xena in the end. Either way, I understand all the story elements that come together in there being a love story. And making love to Hercules (someone she once wanted to kill for the sake of her own Warrior Vanity) was a part of that cracking of the shell around her heart. It needed to happen, writing it any other way would have made it less powerful. Still, Ewww. Darphus was really a non-issue here as a villain. Of course they needed one and he did the job, but the real stories were within the group of friends. Iolaus learning to trust Xena, Salmoneous having a brush with a loss of confidence and then finding confidence again, Herc & Xena's growing respect for each other as warriors, and Xena realizing the road to her redemption lay not with Hercules, but without him.

    I think acting was strong all around in this episode. Who, after seeing this, wouldn't want to see what happened to Xena next? And even some, I bet, (Ewww) wanted to see if the "lovers" would be reunited again. But Xena's story turned out to be so much more than that. As for Herc, him learning to really love again, I guess, was a big deal too considering the season started with the murder of his family. So it was a great end to the season and great beginning for the companion series.

    So Xena moves on and Hercules goes on...moreless
  • Hercules, Xena, Salmoneus and Iolaus all team up to fight Darphus, who has risen from the grave and plans to feed Hercules to Ares' dog of war Graegus, in this thrilling season finale that sets the scene for Xena's own series...moreless

    This closing episode to Hercules' first season is a great installment, and shows how far the series has come already.

    'The Powers That Be' were obviously trying out different things with Xena during filming with her own series now confirmed, as she comes across differently at different points of the story. Her look, including her hair, seems to change from scene to scene (going from tied back, to loose, to frizzy...). The first scene with her seems a bit abrupt, as – far from the bitter, betrayed army leader of the previous episode – here she is all now laughter and smiles. But Lucy Lawless is clearly by now getting a handle on the character, and Xena is really coming to life.

    This is a rare instance of an episode where both Salmoneus and Iolaus are seen together. I love the way that they meet, and they play off of each other almost like two wives discovering they are married to the same man. The scene where they first meet each other is one of the best of the episode.

    Darphus, having risen from the dead, could have had much more of the focus of the story, but this is more an episode concentrating on developing our heroes, and doesn't suffer from it.

    As with many episodes, Robert Trebor as Salmoneus stands out as a favourite of mine, and plays his scenes really well. I particularly like the scene where our heroes are trapped beneath the rock slide that Darphus caused, leaving Salmoneus shell-shocked and unable to move. A great contrast to the funny, joking character we normally see.

    The plot of Hercules and Xena falling in love is maybe a bit predictable and obvious, but is done well. It is also to note that this is the first woman that Hercules has fallen for since the death of Deianeira at the start of the regular series.

    It is great to see all of the characters teamed up together. When 'Xena: Warrior Princess' went into production, they seemed (maybe rightly so) a bit cautious about playing the lead-crossovers card, but I personally would have liked to have seen a couple more Hercules-Xena crossover team ups.

    I find the end of this episode a bit bitter-sweet, as in its all over. Both the adventure, and the season. From the point where Salmoneus bids his friends farewell, to Xena riding off into her own series, leaving Hercules and Iolaus to walk home... it's all over. Thankfully, it would be far from the last we'd see of the series, and would have not only another season of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', but also of 'Xena: Warrior Princess' alongside it.moreless
  • Xena, Hercules, and Iolaus team up to once again try to stop Darfus, who now has control of Ares's evil pet that feeds on human flesh. Xena sets out to risk her life trying to rid the world of Darfus and the beast once and for all.moreless

    This was a pivotal episode. Salmoneous finds his way right back into the army camp when he hops a ride with a traveler who is as blind as a bat. Xena and Hercules work together to try to stop Darfus, who's been brought back from the dead and is feeding people to a flesh eating beast, in hopes that it will grow large enough to basically be unstoppable. When Iolaus discovers that Hercules is trusting Xena, he is full of resentment for her trying to turn the two men against each other before, and he doesn't trust her. After she helps him out in battle and he sees that she is in fact working for the good side with Hercules, he eventually forgives her. I thought the scene where Iolaus came back and almost caught Hercules and Xena "rolling around in bed together" was a bit comical, especially when he asked if he came back too soon. Salmoneous gets over his fear a little bit and helps Iolaus in a fight. Xena and Hercules ultimately defeat Darfus by feeding him to the beast. It was sad how Xena chose to leave at the end. All the women in Hercules' life seem to leave him. However, he sparked the beginning of one of the greatest heroes of all time. Thanks for unchaining the ruthless woman's heart and giving us the Warrior Princess!moreless
Matthew Chamberlain

Matthew Chamberlain


Guest Star

Stephen Papps

Stephen Papps


Guest Star

Mervyn Smith

Mervyn Smith

Village Elder

Guest Star

Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless


Recurring Role

Robert Trebor

Robert Trebor


Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This is the only crossover episode with Hercules, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Xena in the Herc/Xenaverse.

    • This episode marks the first time Hercules and Xena kiss. They have their only love scene, as well. In all subsequent meetings, they greet each other as good (but platonic) friends.

    • When Ares' hound Gragus appeared in the episode "The Vanishing Dead", he looked like a dog, but in this episode Gragus is much more lizard-like than dog-like.

    • Goof: During the final kissing scene between Hercules and Xena, Hercules' hair changes alignment several times. It is first lying against his face, then it was pulled back to what is affectionately called the 'Herc flip', and then back to lying against his face.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Hercules: Everybody helped.
      Salmoneus: Everybody except me. All I did is prove what a coward I am.
      Hercules: You are nothing of the sort, Salmoneus. I remember how you stuck by me when I had to battle the Centaurs without my sight.
      Salmoneus: Save your breath. Why should they believe you?

    • Xena: (when Salmoneus volunteers to hunt if someone else cooks) Guess that leaves the scouting to me.
      Hercules: No, wait, I think I should do the scouting.
      Xena: Oh no, you're cooking.

    • Iolaus: You're talking about a woman who wanted to make history by trying to kill you!
      Hercules: That part of her life is over.
      Iolaus: Oh yeah, is that what she tells you when the both of you are rolling around in bed together?!

    • Iolaus: (when Gragus blows up after eating Darphus) I've never seen anything like that, what happened?
      Hercules: Bad diet.

    • Xena: (to Hercules) Let me go. There's so much in my life I have to make amends for. I've got to get started.
      Hercules: I wish you'd let me help.
      Xena: You already have. You unchained my heart.

    • Salmoneus: (taking Iolaus to Hercules) Now when you meet him, whatever you do, don't say 'You're Hercules?!' like it's a big surprise because frankly, he's not that much different than other men. Yeah, he's bigger, and he's got more muscles, but otherwise he's just about the same. You'll see. Now, there he is.
      Iolaus: You're Hercules?!
      Salmoneus: I can't believe you said that! I told you not to!

    • Salmoneus: Get a message to Iolaus you'd need a carrier pigeon. It's not me, is it? (smells armpit) Can't be you, all I smell on you is hyacinth and cinnamon.
      Xena: Are you a biographer or a bad comedian? Or, have you dreamed up some other 'get rich quick' scheme?
      Salmoneus: How about Love Slave?
      Xena: You're deluded.

    • Sentry: (holding Hercules at bay) The mighty Hercules! How does it feel to be...
      Xena: (hitting the Sentry from behind) How does it feel to be unconscious!

    • Xena: I thought the wagon was supposed to be on fire!
      Hercules: Old hunter's tricks don't always work.

    • Iolaus: (when Hercules says Xena has changed) I understand, l . You're falling into the same trap I fell into, and I will burn in Hades before I stick around here and watch you do it!

  • NOTES (3)